Posts Tagged ‘european union’

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Charlotte O’Brien, University of York

[This post was originally published in The Conversation and is reproduced here with the kind permission of that blog and the author]

It has emerged that the team being sent to Brussels to lead on talks to take Britain out of the EU includes just one woman – out of nine named negotiators.

This imbalance is not only embarrassing. It’s negligent. Failing to include women on the frontline of this incredibly important process jeopardises the quality of the negotiations.

Men don’t know (or do) what’s best for women

Having women on your team matters – and not just because of optics. It affects the quality of the laws that are made. The Equal Pay Act of 1970 and the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 were both passed by parliaments that were 96% male and 4% female. Both pieces of legislation are great achievements on the surface but both were deeply flawed. The original equal pay rules required a job evaluation survey, effectively meaning that women had to seek permission from their employers (back then: men) to mount an equal pay claim. Until the EU intervened, the Sex Discrimination Act appeared to require pregnant women to be compared to sick men, making it easier to sack them. This unfavourable treatment on the grounds of pregnancy was not considered sex discrimination. (more…)


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Snapshots of law, gender and sexuality news from the past couple of weeks.IB image

Fear of imprisonment for homosexuality: a ground for asylum in EU member states

Gita Keshava (Durham University)

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that people who fear imprisonment on the basis on their sexuality in their home country have grounds for seeking asylum in all EU member states. The Court ruled that homosexuals may constitute a “particular social group” and that criminalisation or imprisonment can be considered persecution provided that it is applied in reality. The existence of a ban on homosexuality cannot itself be a ground for approving an asylum request. However, individuals cannot be expected to hide their sexuality to avoid persecution as to do so would amount to rejecting a fundamental characteristic of one’s identity. (more…)

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